Brilliant New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson and tenacious wicketkeeper BJ Watling have pulled the Black Caps out of a deep hole and put them in a commanding position in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.
The hosts faced a first innings deficit of 135 and were struggling at 5/159 in their second dig, staring down the barrel at posting a meagre target for the Sri Lankans to chase in the fourth innings.
But Williamson and Watling smashed all manner of records in an extraordinary partnership that lasted more than a day. Williamson made 242 not out and Watling 142 not out before Brendon McCullum called them in with 17 overs of day 4 remaining, New Zealand setting the tourists an imposing 390 for victory after declaring at 5/524.
It was a stats-lover’s dream:
- The unbeaten 365-run partnership was a world record for the sixth wicket, overtaking Watling and McCullum’s 352 against India in February.
- It was the third-highest partnership for New Zealand for any wicket.
- It was the 29th-highest partnership in Test history.
- Kane Williamson’s 224no, in his 39th Test, was his highest Test score and the seventh-highest score in New Zealand Test history.
- Williamson’s nine centuries is equal-sixth with Stephen Fleming (who scored 46 half-centuries to Williamson’s 15) in New Zealand Test history; the players above him have played at least 23 more matches.
- Williamson became just the 13th New Zealand to pass 3,000 Test runs; he has played at least 16 Tests less than every player above him on the list, while his average of 45.96 is better than every other player in New Zealand’s top 37 all-time run-scorers.
- Watling’s 142no, in his 28th Test, was his fourth in Tests and his highest score. He also became the 38th New Zealander to pass 1,500 Test runs.
- Watling has now been involved in three 200-plus sixth-wicket Test partnerships – out of just six in New Zealand’s history.
- His effort in being part of the top two sixth-wicket partnerships in Test history is unique for any wicket.